“To boldly go where no man has gone before.”

From: Star Trek

Genre: Television, Movies

Who said it?: James T. Kirk, Jean Luc Picard

The story behind the quote: This quote is probably something everyone is familiar with. It comes from the opening narration of Star Trek. But first, let’s talk about Star Trek.

The basic premise of all Star Trek iterations is that a huge spaceship, the USS Enterprise, goes around the universe attempting to make brand new discoveries and encounter new alien races to communicate with. One of the things that made each version of Star Trek memorable was the diverse cast and the attitudes of the crew of the Enterprise. The original 1966 series had James T. Kirk, the captain of the ship, who was usually led by following his instincts. However, his First Office, a Vulcan named Spock, who only works with pure logic.

The second series, called Star Trek: The Next Generation, added more diversity. The crew of the new Enterprise now had a Klingon (a race of aliens that were actually the main antagonists of the original series) named Worf and a full-fledged android named Data joining an entirely new cast.

Anyway, every series would always have the same intro, with a narrator stating the full mission of the USS Enterprise.

Here’s the original version from the first series…

Now, here’s the introduction from Star Trek: The Next Generation…

Geek wisdom: We all want to play it safe and stay in our comfort zone and, honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it’s when we don’t explore and do new things once in a while is when we stagnate. We all have to eventually try new things and go to new places. In fact, this is the best way for us to keep learning new things.

“Homies help homies!”

From: Adventure Time

Genre: Cartoons, Television

Who said it?: Jake the Dog

The story behind the quote: Adventure Time is a fairly recent cartoon that has gain a huge cult following and it’s not hard to see why it’s become so popular. Each story revolves around two friends, Finn (the Human) and Jake (the Dog). They usually go around fantastic adventures in the land they live in (The Land of Ooo).

By the way, the following summary of the quote is going to sound weird, especially if you haven’t watch the show. So, just go with it.

The quote comes from one of the episodes entitled, “Her Parents.” Lady Rainicorn, Jake’s girlfriend, has her parents come over to meet her boyfriend. However, as Jake is a dog and Lady Rainicorn is a, well, rainicorn, there is some tension since their two species had a violent war before. So, Jake shapeshifts into a rainicorn and asks Finn to help him impress his girlfriend’s parents.

Finn tries his best to help his friend but is constantly getting beat down because of all the ridiculous things he has to do (like carrying Jake around to simulate flying). Jake then appeals to Finn, asking him to still help him since they are best friends.

(Sorry for the quality of the clip. It’s the only one I could find on the Internet.)

Geek wisdom: It’s easy to stick by your “friend” during the easy times. However, the only time you’ll really know who you’re true friends really are is when they will stick by you during the hard times. When you’re in trouble or you really need their help, your friends should never abandon you.

This goes both ways. If you need help, you should be able to depend on your friends. And, when your friend needs your help, you should be there for them as well.

“What has two thumbs and doesn’t give a crap?”

From: Scrubs

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Bob Kelso

The story behind the quote: Scrubs was a (very) irreverent and unpredictable sitcom.  However, it’s those very factors that makes it a great and memorable sitcom. The story is usually told from the point of view of a trainee doctor named J. D. (played by Zack Braff) and how he see the hospital being run through his weird imagination.

The quote comes from one of the episodes from the 3rd season (but is sort of the character’s catch phrase).  One of the senior doctors, Perry Cox (John McGinley) is told by the Chief of Medicine of the Sacred Heart Hospital, Bob Kelso (portrayed by Ken Jenkins), that he gets too attached to his patients. Dr. Cox replies back and mocks him by saying that scientists will be amazed that, instead of a heart, they would only find a black hole if they do examine Dr. Cox. To this, Dr. Kelso states that he doesn’t care what he thinks by delivering the quote.

(Note: I think Dr. Kelso used a variant of the quote during a much earlier episode, but I just don’t know when.)

Geek wisdom: In society, we tend to care too much about how people perceive us. We don’t want to be thought of as mean spirited, greedy, selfish, stupid… you get the idea. However, when we put too much weight on what people think of us and we try to change because of it, we lose what makes us an individual.

Ultimately, like Bob Kelso, we shouldn’t put too much stock on how people think of us. If you’re happy with the way you are, then you shouldn’t give a crap what they think.

“It always ends. That’s what gives it value.”

From: Death: The High Cost of Living

Genre: Comics

Who said it?: Didi/Death

The story behind the quote: The quote comes from Death, one of the characters from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. Specifically, the quote comes from the miniseries, Death: The High Cost of Living.

Essentially, a suicidal boy named Sexton meets a girl named Didi who claims to be the personification of Death. Didi explains to Sexton that, in order to appreciate taking away the lives of people, she is reincarnated every 100 years to experience one day of walking among the living. Sexton is amazed (and strangely) drawn to Didi as she expresses such joy in simple acts, such as eating a bagel or riding a taxi. He decides to follow her around and tries to see if there is a meaning to his life.

By the way, MASSIVE SPOILERS ARE AHEAD! Please read the series since the quote will have a deeper significance when you really appreciate the story. Don’t worry. The story is deep and I think non-geeks will love the story.

The quote comes from the end of the miniseries where Didi has a conversation with Death. Death asks how it felt to be alive and Didi beams and exclaims that it felt so wonderful to be alive and wished it didn’t have to end. Death then delivers the quote, explaining that life has to end, making every minute precious.

Geek wisdom: We take life for granted. Even the simple joys of eating a bagel is lost when we don’t realize that we’re lucky to be alive to eat the bagel. The sad thing is, we also take the big things in life, like family and friends, for granted.

We shouldn’t have to wait for our time to be up before we start appreciating life. We should be living and enjoying what little time we have left on this earth now.

“He doesn’t know how to use the three seashells!”

From: Demolition Man

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Erwin

The story behind the quote: The quote comes from the Sylvester Stallone film, Demolition Man. The movie tells the story of John Spartan (played by Stallone), who is tricked by Simon Phoenix (played by Wesley Snipes), the main antagonist of the film, into making it appear that Spartan accidentally killed some civilians. Both Spartan and Phoenix were frozen for their crimes. In the future, Phoenix manages to escape imprisonment (long story) so Spartan is thawed out as well to capture the criminal.

The quote comes from the middle of the film. Since the film is set in the future where a lot of technological advancements (and “peace”  has been “achieved”), Spartan is still having trouble adjusting to the culture. He mentions that there is no toilet paper in the bathroom. Lelina Huxley (Sandra Bullock) explains to the rest of the police force what toilet paper is. Spartan then quips that, instead of toilet paper, there’s a shelf containing three seashells. Erwin (Rob Schneider) snidely remarks that Spartan has no idea how to use the seashells.

Spartan then gets to talking to a police officer he knew as a rookie and, while reminiscing, gets fined for using profanity. He then goes up to the machine printing out the tickets for the fines and uses a few more expletives, collecting a huge wad of paper. He then comments that he doesn’t need the seashells, implying he’s going to use the tickets as toilet paper.

Geek wisdom:  Sometimes, we may come across situations that we have no knowledge on how to resolve (like how to use the three seashells). In these situations, we have to rely on our creativity in order to get around these issues and figure out alternative solutions to the problems.

While John Spartan will eventually figure out the three seashells, he needs to use the toilet now. So, even though he does get fined, he managed to get his own version of toilet paper in the future. He managed to address his need immediately by using a creative solution. We need to go look for alternative solutions to problems, especially if the direct solution cannot be figured out immediately.

“You have a part of my attention. You have the minimum amount.”

From: The Social Network

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Mark Zuckerberg

The story behind the quote: The quote comes from the brilliant film, The Social Network. It is a dramatized version of the story of how Facebook came to be. While a lot of the actual events have been spiced up to make the story much, much, much more interesting, a lot of the story is based on some fact.

The quote comes from when a lawyer questioning Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and Zuckerberg casually commenting that it’s raining. The lawyer, apparently annoyed, asked Zuckerberg if he deserves his full attention. The soon-to-be billionaire turns to the lawyer and frankly tells the lawyer that he believes that he doesn’t deserve his full attention. Most of his energies are focused on making sure that Facebook continues to develop and create new and amazing things for the public to use.

Geek wisdom: Sometimes, unimportant things will try to grab our attention to sidetrack us from a goal or a task. These unimportant things will try to do every thing in their power to avert our eyes from the prize. We shouldn’t let them do it.

When we put all of our blood, sweat and tears into something and it may feel impossible to actually accomplish it. At this point, we may actually want the distraction! However, if we do push through the hard times and devote the time to what we want, we can achieve it.

The thrill and feeling of achievement that comes from reaching a goal will definitely feel much better than the temporary relief that a distraction can provide.

“There is no spoon”

From: The Matrix

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Some kid who can bend a spoon with his mind and Neo

The story behind the quote: We’re already talked about The Matrix before on how it was a groundbreaking film. What we haven’t really discussed is how many memorable quotes there are in the film. So, here’s another one.

Neo (Keanu Reeves) goes to visit the Oracle, a wise person who can see the destinies of people. While waiting for his turn to talk to the Oracle, Neo sees a little boy bend a spoon effortlessly through pure thought alone. The boy, seeing that Neo is astonished by his feat, explains to the hero that there is actually no spoon to bend; it is the person that bends. With this in mind, Neo then proceeds to bend the spoon with his mind as well.

Geek wisdom: A lot of the things we think is impossible is because we doubt ourselves. In the movie, it is easy for the kid to bend the spoon with his mind since he was taught that it is possible to do so. In the same way, Neo finds it incredible that a child can bend the spoon easily with his mind alone since he was taught that it is practically impossible to do it.

The child bending the spoon can refer to the thoughts that our dreams and aspirations are impossible to achieve. What we can learn from the quote is that there are no limits with what we can achieve if we really put our minds to it. In fact, we may find that attaining our “impossible” dreams are effortlessly achievable. We have to think that we can accomplish the impossible and get rid of self-doubt in order to reach for our goals in life.

“I love the Power Glove… it’s so bad.”

From: The Wizard

Genre: Movies, Video Games

Who said it?: Lucas Barton

The story behind the quote: This quote comes from the movie long Nintendo commercial, The Wizard. The story of the film is a “special” kid named Jimmy who wants to travel to California to put pictures of his dead sister in a dinosaur. His half-brother (played by Wonder Years’ star Fred Savage) breaks him out of the institution where he stays to help him get to California. Along the way, they meet a girl named Haley and they find out that Jimmy is a “wizard” in playing video games (get it?) so they enter Jimmy in Video Armageddon, a video game tournament with a prize of $50,000 going to the winner.

The quote comes from one of the “villains” of the film, Lucas Barton. Lucas encounters the trio and exclaims that he is the best NES player ever since he has all of the Nintendo games ever made. To emphasize this even further, he produces the Power Glove and uses it to play Rad Racer. After completing the race in the game, Lucas turns to the audience, delivering the quote and plugging the Power Glove to the young kids who are watching the film.

Geek wisdom: While it may seem like arrogance, it’s actually a good thing to take pride in what you have. Whether it be material things or your personal accomplishments, you have to be proud of it. There’s actually nothing wrong with what Lucas did in scene shown above. He’s just stating that he loves the Power Glove… and he proved why it’s awesome.

“It’s dangerous out there! Take this.”

From: The Legend of Zelda

Genre: Video Games

Who said it?: Old Man

The story behind the quote: This is a classic quote from the first Legend of Zelda game, a classic game for the NES. It’s also hard to believe that a simple 8-bit game revolutionize gaming as we know it with the ability to save. Before, gamers had to write down a password (which were usually incredibly long) when they had to continue where they left off. The Legend of Zelda changed all of that since the cartridge had a battery which allowed you to save the game. Oh, and it also helps that the game was just plain awesome!

While there have been several games (and reboots) during subsequent releases, the general plot remains the same. The hero of each game is an elf boy named Link. The kingdom of Hyrule is under attack by Ganon and Link goes on a quest to defeat the evil wizard and save the kingdom and Princess Zelda.

Anyway, the quote comes from the start of Link’s 1st quest. He enters a cave where he encounters an old man who tells the hero that the world is filled with monsters and he will need a weapon to defeat these evil creatures. Link gladly takes the sword that is offered and (like all other objects he finds along the way) raises it up in celebration.

Geek wisdom: Simply put, no man is an island. A lot of times, we do feel pride and we think that we can take on the world with no problem. However, there are going to be some instances when it’s simply not true. We will need assistance and every little bit helps.

Even if we are confident and sure that we can take on the world, it doesn’t hurt to be ready for unforeseen circumstances that can prevent us for success. That’s why we would need every little advantage to make sure we will do well.

“A single idea from the human mind can build cities”

From: Inception

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: “Dom” Cobb

The story behind the quote: This quote comes from the smash-hit Inception. One of the highest grossing films of all time, Inception tells the story of Dominic “Dom” Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who is a professional criminal who enters the minds of his targets to steal their ideas. However, Dom’s team has been hired to do the opposite; instead of stealing ideas, their job in the film is to actually implant an idea in the target’s mind.

The story goes deeper into that just that. The director of the film, Christopher Nolan, weaves a brilliant tale regarding Dom’s backstory about his life and why he decides to take the job. Inception is a film that is thought provoking and something that should be seen by geeks and people who love movies in general.

Geek wisdom: It’s hard to underestimate the power of an idea. A lot of our modern culture is actually derived from ideas. The airplane came from the idea that people can fly. Even simple conveniences that we take for granted, such as paper, were derived from the idea that we should be able to write on something light and portable.

We all have ideas. No matter how small they are, we have to nurture these ideas into maturity because we can never know how great the idea actually is until we make the idea into reality.